At Hallmark, sustainable business practices are both a longtime tradition and a promise for the future.
A Tradition of Responsibility
Hallmark began recycling paper in the 1940s and launched an employee transportation pool in the 1970s.
Since 1998 the Enfield, Conn., distribution center has been a zero-waste-to-landfill facility.
Sawdust that’s a byproduct of producing store displays in our Center, Texas, fixture plant has been recycled for years – some 3 million pounds annually.
Since 1969, scraps from Kansas manufacturing plants have been transformed into projects by children attending Kaleidoscope, a Hallmark-sponsored art experience in Kansas City.
For decades, surplus products have been donated to educational, military and human service organizations for redistribution to people in need.
In 1990, we disposed of 35 million pounds of landfill waste. By 2013 that number was reduced to 8.1 million pounds. Since establishing a base year of 2006, we've cut waste by 63%, energy use by 30% and water use by 32%.
Sustainability Begins at Home
Some current operational initiatives in our own “backyard”:
- We have launched zero-waste-to-landfill initiatives in all our facilities, including our headquarters offices where we engage employees in sorting their routine office waste to divert it from landfills, and continue to make further progress.
- A rain garden at headquarters helps control drainage and erosion while reducing pollutants to the water supply.
- Excess food from employee cafeterias is donated to food banks, and food waste from Kansas City area dining facilities is composted by a local company that turns it into high-quality soil additive used in our rain garden and the Crown Garden at neighboring Ronald McDonald House.
- Hallmark is a member of the Kansas City Regional By-Product Synergy Project to turn unwanted waste materials of one group into raw materials of another.
- We also participate in Kansas City's City Energy Project, an initiative to reduce the energy use of commercial office buildings.
- We host an annual “e-waste day” to dispose of employees’ discarded electronics, provide collection points for toner cartridges and batteries, and work with local Ripple Glass to collect and dispose of glass bottles that become the raw material for insulation.
- Since 1996, we've replaced 220,000 T12 lamps with more efficient T8 lamps, saving 22 million kilowatt hours of electricity.
- Headquarters employees can purchase bus passes subsidized by Hallmark, apply for reimbursement of some bicycle commuting costs, and participate in a community supported agriculture program.
Paper Use Today...
Trees from well-managed forests are among our most renewable resources. For several years Hallmark has specified that paper for Hallmark North America products come from forests meeting the standards of third-party certification programs.
In addition, many Hallmark greeting cards sold in North America contain up to 20% recycled fiber. The stock used for cores of roll wrapping paper contains 100% recycled content.
We have experimented with non-tree stock and with novel sources of recycled material, such as scraps from the manufacture of envelopes. So far, the results have met with limited consumer favor, but we continue to explore alternatives.
... and Tomorrow
We continue to seek sources of paper that balance quality, cost and sustainability goals, as set forth in our paper sourcing policy. Some of the paper needs for our business are complex, chosen through years of research and testing to ensure compatibility with printing and finishing processes so that the card or gift wrap you purchase meets your quality expectations from Hallmark.
Our work with paper suppliers for our products, packaging and shipping containers is ongoing as we try to leverage recycled content and other materials with preferred environmental impacts to meet 2016 goals for our total fiber portfolio while still delivering the quality of products consumers expect from Hallmark.